In 2016, the Washington Post reported that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told fellow Republican lawmakers in a recorded exchange that “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”.
The exchange, recorded June 15th, 2016 was immediately ended by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Speaker Ryan swore the Republicans present to secrecy. “No leaks…This is how we know we’re a real family here,” the Speaker said to everyone present.
Evan McMullin, who was Policy Director of the House Conference, was physically present during this conversation, confirmed its veracity to the Washington Post. “It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking,” said Mr. McMullin.
Mr. McMullin would later run as independent candidate for President and has come out firmly against Trump.
The spokesman for both Speaker Ryan and the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy both issued denials.
Despite his reservations, the House Majority leader still emphatically supported President Donald Trump's candidacy, even signing up to become his delegate at the Republican National Convention. In February, it was reported that when Donald Trump saw the House Majority leader he called him “My Kevin”.